Speaking in Mangochi during this year’s political party leaders Regional Sensitization meeting which took place in the Lakeshore District of Mangochi on Thursday through Friday, the regional party members Academia and CSOs said the bill once passed into the law will help to prevent more deaths which are occurring as a result of unsafe abortion.
Dr Chisale Mhango, who is a senior lecture at College of Medicine in Gynecology, said the only option to save women is to replace old and restrictive 1861 law which is very and replace it with a new one.
Mhango said abortions performed by professionals are done in such a way that does not damage the reproductive organs of women.
“When performed by trained health care providers with proper equipment, correct technique and sanitary standards, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures therefore, there is no connection between safe abortion and infertility,” Said Mhango
Mhango said, if abortion is performed in safe conditions it offers very few risks for the health of women.
Abortion is an experience that many women in all cultures and regions in the world pass through their lives. Statistics show that annually 46 millions of women in the world procure abortions while in 70 000 women procure abortion yearly in Malawi.
According to Dr Mhango, it is believed that women procure abortion for a variety of reasons and not out of frivolousness since passing through an experience of an abortion is a difficult decision for every women and when a woman opt for an abortion is because she considers that as the best decision.
Dr Chisale Mhango said only the abortion performed in unsafe conditions can represent a serious threat to the fertility of women, taking into account that frequently one of the consequences of the unsafe abortion is the damage of the reproductive organs such as the uterus and the cervix.
“Abortion only kills when it’s performed in unsafe conditions. Unsafe abortions accounts for about 68 deaths of women 95% of each take place in developing countries while about 30,000 of these women are treated for complications of unsafe abortion annually.” Said Mhango.
Studies have shown that unsafe abortion is a problem that affect women of every colours, races, ethnical origins, religions and political parties.
Studies have also shown that there are countries with restrictive legislations that present high rates of abortions while there are countries in which abortion is not criminalized and the rates of unsafe abortions are reduced.
Simple analysis shows that South Africa where after the liberalization of abortion in 1996, there was a decrease in the number of deaths due to unsafe abortion to 91% in only 5 years.
In August 2015, political parties endorsed abortion law reforms in Malawi since currently abortion is illegal and is punishable by a maximum of 14 years in jail except in cases where pregnancy threatens life of a woman.
This law has prompted women to procure illegal abortion services.
Some of the political parties which were invited during the Mangochi meeting include; Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF). Peoples Party (PP), Alliance for Democracy and (Aford).
Opening the meeting Senior Chief Lukwa reminded MPs of their role as architectures of laws in Malawi not to look down on this bill saying Malawi as a country is losing a lot of women who procure illegal abortion.
Lukwa said Members of Parliament should bury their heads women and girls are dying.
Lukwa commended Government for the special Law commission which aimed at reviewing the outdated law.
During the meeting, Policy Advisor at Coalition for The Prevention of Unsafe Abortion(COPUA) Luke Tembo commended the politicians for showing interest in issues which affects the Malawi women.
Tembo said it is undeniable fact that Malawi is losing women due to these restrictive laws.
Tembo said there is need for the politicians to understand the magnitude of abortion.
Tembo said political parties plays vital role in legal reforms in the country.
Releasing the report, Justice Esmie Chombo, chairperson of the Malawi Special Commission on Review of Abortion Law, said the new law would give women more decision- making powers.
Chombo said the new bill once passed into new law will manage to extend grounds on which abortion can be procured.
Chombo said if a woman is pregnant and the doctor say what you are going to give birth to, is a malfunctioned child that could not be compatible with life, a woman can decide to terminate the pregnancy.
Chombo said the new law also allows abortion in pregnancies that result from rape, incest, and defilement.
Some of the African countries which adopted legislation on liberalization the abortion, include South Africa, Ethiopia, Cape Verde and Tunisia and others that allow the abortion in certain conditions such as Zambia, Algeria, Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Namibia and Sierra Leon.
The Obstetricians and Gynecologists Association of Malawi just recently endorsed the law reform on abortion saying that the current restrictive laws are the recipe of high maternal deaths in Malawi.
Currently the drafted bill is at Cabinet level but Members of Parliament have openly asked CSOs for more Civic education since politicians are coy to be speaking of the bill in their constituencies.
Source: Maravi Post